Conor McGregor sparks outrage with Islamophobic tweet about Khabib's wife
MMA fighter Conor McGregor has come in for severe criticism after sending a latterly deleted tweet about the wife of Khabib Nurmagomedov, a fighter he has previously faced.
McGregor, who announced his retirement from the UFC earlier this year after losing to Khabib in the fourth round at UFC 229 last October, made a taunt against the Russian fighter's wife (both Khabib and his wife are Muslim), prompting an angry response online, not least from Khabib's manager.
McGregor and Khabib have been embroiled in an intense professional rivalry, and after their fight a scuffle broke out, causing both fighters to receive bans as a result of their actions. Now, the Irish fighter has extended the fight outside the ring, referring to Khabib's wife as a "towel" in a now-deleted tweet.
The tweet sparked outrage; while Khabib himself did not respond to McGregor's jibe, his manager Ali Abdelaziz did. In a furious Twitter response, Abdelaziz branded the 30-year-old McGregor as a "rapist".
"Talking s**t, this guy is insulting someone’s wife and making fun of her religion and belief. He doesn’t realize he’s insulting 1.5 billon Muslims. Religion and family is a no no. You’re f**ked Connor, let’s see what the media is going to say now. He’s a rapist, and a bitch."
Unfortunately, this is not the only time that McGregor has come under fire for making comments that have been described as racist. In the lead-up to his historic fight with boxer Floyd Mayweather back in August of 2017, boxing champion Mayweather accused McGregor of racism during a press call in front of 10,000 people at Wembley Arena.
The lead-up to the fight had been dotted with race controversy; in an earlier press conference, McGregor had told Mayweather to "dance for me, boy" - a phrase loaded with racial overtones - while the Irishman only exacerbated the issue by describing himself as "half-black from the belly button down".
"Racism still exists. It’s all about treating people like you want to be treated. To get respect you must give respect," Mayweather began in his riposte, before proceeding to call McGregor a "f****t" later on in the press event.
"He totally disrespected black women. He called black people monkeys. Then he spoke disrespectfully to my mother and my daughter. There are certain levels you don’t stoop to and certain levels you just don’t go to. I love everybody from all walks of life."
Conor McGregor announced his retirement from MMA fighting on March 26, a mere two weeks before his ban was due to end, and some experts are skeptical of the announcement. If McGregor does indeed return to the fighting scene, he has not only his professional reputation to uphold, but his personal reputation to repair as well.